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Open Access item A designed protein as experimental model of primordial folding

Authors:Sadqi, Mourad
Alba, Eva de
Pérez-Jiménez, Raúl
Sánchez-Ruiz, José M.
Muñoz van den Eynde, Víctor
Keywords:Energy landscape, Glassy dynamics, Molecular evolution, Protein design, Protein folding
Issue Date:24-Feb-2009
Publisher:National Academy of Sciences (USA)
Citation:Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA (PNAS), doi: 10.1073/pnas.0812108106
Abstract:How do proteins accomplish folding during early evolution? Theoretically the mechanism involves the selective stabilization of the native structure against all other competing compact conformations in a process that involves cumulative changes in the amino acid sequence along geological timescales. Thus, an evolved protein folds into a single structure at physiological temperature, but the conformational competition remains latent. For natural proteins such competition should emerge only near cryogenic temperatures, which places it beyond experimental testing. Here, we introduce a designed monomeric miniprotein (FSD-1ss) that within biological temperatures (330–280 K) switches between simple fast folding and highly complex conformational dynamics in a structurally degenerate compact ensemble. Our findings demonstrate the physical basis for protein folding evolution in a designed protein, which exhibits poorly evolved or primordial folding. Furthermore, these results open the door to the experimental exploration of primitive folding and the switching between alternative protein structures that takes place in evolutionary branching points and prion diseases, as well as the benchmarking of de novo design methods.
Description:6 pages, 4 figures.-- Available Open Access at the publisher's site.-- Article in press.
Supporting information (SI Text, Suppl. figs. S1-S2, Suppl. table S1) available at: http://www.pnas.org/content/suppl/2009/02/24/0812108106.DCSupplemental/0812108106SI.pdf
Publisher version (URL):http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0812108106
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/10261/10975
ISSN:0027-8424
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